Economic Summit rolls into 25th year, continues to spark important conversations in Steamboat |

Economic Summit rolls into 25th year, continues to spark important conversations in Steamboat

Brian Lewandowski, associate director, Business Research Division, University of Colorado Boulder, speaks to the crowd at the Allbright Family Auditorium during the 2018 Economic Summit in Steamboat Springs. This year's event will feature a strong lineup of speakers and two panels addressing issues that will impact the Steamboat community.
John F. Russell

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Organizer John Bristol hopes the lineup of speakers at the 2019 Economic Summit will bring fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to the business and civic leaders in Steamboat Springs who attend, but more importantly, he is hoping the event will start a conversation.

“I’m pleased with it,” Bristol, who serves as the Steamboat Springs Chamber’s economic development director, said of the summit he has led the past three years. “I’m happy with it because, every year, we have a little different conversation, and that feeds into a lot of conversations around the community, across the county and even across the valley. … This year, we are focusing in on entrepreneurship and that entrepreneurial ecosystem for the smaller companies to get going.”

The one-day summit in its 25th year, which is hosted by the Steamboat Chamber, begins at 8 a.m. Friday, Oct. 18, with registration and coffee followed by presentations through 1 p.m.

This year, the presentations and two panel discussions will be built around the theme, “Start Local & Grow Local.” Speakers will include Ross DeVol, president and CEO of Heartland Forward and fellow at the Walton Family Foundation; Mike Freeman the CEO at Innosphere; Tom Johnson, the director of community engagement and economic development at Colorado State University; Michael Santos, the co-founder and partner at Bechtel Santo & Severn; and Ryan Nalty, the director of strategic partnerships at the World Trade Center.

If you go

What: 2019 Economic Summit
When: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18
Allbright Family Auditorium, Colorado Mountain College Steamboat Springs,  1275 Crawford Ave.
Cost: $55 for Steamboat Chamber members, $65 for nonmembers

The morning  panel discussion, “Growing Local Entrepreneurship” will feature Denton Crofts, president of Dev IQ; Stephen Schramke, CEO of FloodSimple; and Kayleen Cohen, founder of Mountain Dog Media.

There will also be an afternoon panel discussion, “Growing Local Products” featuring Abe Rahmanizadeh, co-founder and COO of Leafwell Botanicals; Given Johnson with Lost Range; John Kelly with the Hemp Foundry; Steve Herron with Natural Path Botanical; and Chad Fleischer with CBD YUDAH.

The cost to attend the 2019 Economic Summit is $55 for Chamber members and $65 for nonmembers, and brunch is included. The summit will take place in the Allbright Family Auditorium, which is located at Colorado Mountain College Steamboat Springs, 1275 Crawford Ave.

For Bristol, the Economic Summit is a time to look forward and to find new paths to economic success for local businesses and the community.

 “It’s really important because it’s about engaging the community — key business leaders and key civic leaders — on economic diversification, economic development and the economy,” Bristol said. “This year, we are really focusing in on certain aspects of it. We’re focusing in on the entrepreneurial ecosystem, the startups and what that ecosystem looks like and what we need to do to support those companies and also retain them.”

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.

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